HVAC company and state fire marshal urge caution ahead of cold snap

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Alabamians will soon be firing up their furnaces, which means more business for heating and air companies.

“We do a lot of furnace tune-ups,” said Will Imbusch with Bill Bradley Services in Montgomery.

He said routine unit checks not only help heaters last longer, but can also protect homeowners.

“A big thing we tell people is that carbon monoxide can seep into your homes, and often you don’t even know it,” Imbusch said.

Older models may have more issues. These heaters can rust and become brittle over the years.

“Once the rust has cracked and you have a crack in the heat exchanger, that’s when your furnace can be dangerous,” Imbusch said.

A simple inspection can help prevent these problems. Bill Bradley Services recommends homeowners change their carbon monoxide meters every two years and their filters every three to four months.

For those who want to buy a new radiator, President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides tax incentives. It allows those who opt for a heat pump to save up to $8,000.

When it comes to fireplaces, people should have an annual inspection to prevent any chimney buildup.

“So when we use this device, everything goes up and down as expected,” said state fire marshal Scott Pilgreen.

The fire manager stressed the need to use appliances only as intended, to keep heaters away from flammable objects and to have working smoke detectors and an evacuation plan.

“These are preventable,” Pilgreen said. “And it comes down to what we as people do to ourselves. So, as people, we have to fix it.

The state fire marshal added that about 95 people die each year in fire-related accidents. So far in 2022, there have been around 75 deaths.

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